National Cancer Recovery Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Coronavirus (COVID-19): National Cancer Recovery Group.

The National Cancer Recovery Group (NCRG) has been commissioned until March 2023, under the authority of the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, to provide national oversight of cancer services during the recovery phase of the NHS.


The group's key purposes are to:

  • reporting and oversight of national cancer governance groups
  • coordination at interfaces between screening, diagnostics, treatment and other relevant groups to ensure robust recommendations
  • national arbitration on overall clinical prioritisations
  • oversight of data and modelling work
  • advising patient and public communications
  • informal advice on national screening programme recovery
  • monitoring of National Cancer Plan implementation
  • take responsibility for agreeing appropriate national responses to any further surges in COVID-19
  • support the resolution of escalated risks/ issues from regional and Board level, and ultimately function as the arbiter in relation to related policy decisions.
  • assume responsibilities of Scottish Cancer Taskforce, providing oversight for all issues relating to cancer in Scotland


There will be two groups working within the NCRG. The core group will be made up of a small number of key representatives who will meet weekly and liaise between meetings and react swiftly to emerging issues. The wider main group will provide advice and input across a wider range of professions and geographies as well as supporting the dissemination of agreed guidance.

Representatives and experts may be invited to the core or main group on an ad hoc basis to provide advice on specific matters.

Core group members:

  • Chair, Director of Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme
  • Co-Chair & Chief Executive, NHS Tayside
  • Vice Chair / Senior Medical Officer (Cancer)
  • Clinical Lead,  SCAN
  • Clinical Lead, NCA
  • Clinical Lead, Scottish Cancer Network
  • Surgery Leads Rep / Clinical Lead - WoSCAN
  • Scientific Manager, Scottish Pathology Network (SPAN)
  • Imaging Manager, Scottish Clinical Imaging Network
  • Radiotherapy Leads Rep
  • Consultant Haematologist, Clinical Lead WoS Haemato-oncology MCN
  • Co-Chair of Scottish Primary Care Cancer Group
  • Director of Pharmacy, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Director of Screening, National Services Scotland
  • Manager, SCAN
  • Manager, NCA (Interim)
  • Manager, WoSCAN
  • Patient Representative
  • Chair of Scottish Cancer Coalition, Cancer Research UK
  • Prof Oncology, Dept Director Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme, CSO clinical cancer research Champion
  • SACT PB Chair
  • SAMD Rep & Medical Director, NHS Highland
  • Acting MD, National Service Directory
  • SEND/Scottish Cancer Lead Nurse Consultant
  • National Endoscopy Performance Lead
  • Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
  • SG Cancer Performance & Early Diagnosis
  • SG Cancer Performance & Early Diagnosis
  • SG Cancer Policy
  • SG Clinical Lead, Endoscopy
  • SG Diagnostics


Individual group members are responsible for gathering views of their colleagues and networks they represent. Members are also responsible for cascading relevant information back to their networks as appropriate, this excludes management information which is provided for internal use only.

The NCRG is accountable to the Health and Social Care Management Board and can provide advice for decision by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care.

The majority of activity of the NCRG also sits within the remit of the Integrated Planned Care Steering Group (IPCSG). Relevant issues of mutual interest will therefore be escalated to the IPCSG. The NCRG will also provide regular update reports to the IPCSG. The NCRG also maintains links with the Cancer Delivery Board, sub-group to the IPCSG although there is no formal reporting relationship.

The national cancer governance groups which are overseen by NCRG include:, SACT Programme Board, Radiotherapy Programme Board, National Cancer Data Programme Board and National Cancer Quality Steering Group; and the Scottish Cancer Network


The group will review the necessity and relevance of its work and the terms of reference every six months. 

Ways of working

The SG Cancer Policy Team will provide secretariat for the group. Meetings will be held monthly on Fridays between 14:00-16:00 by video-conference. Frequency of meetings will be subject  to review. Agenda and papers will be circulated one week prior to meetings, with minutes following within one week, where possible.

Minutes will be published on the group page following group approval.                                                

Scottish Government Cancer Policy Team will facilitate sharing of information and resources between group members. 

A wider membership group 'the main NCRG group' will receive papers and be able to input to input on an ongoing basis.

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